Search found 88 matches

by Rotarman
Fri Jun 08, 2018 6:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What commuter car provides the best long term financial value?
Replies: 84
Views: 6506

Re: What commuter car provides the best long term financial value?

I think these discussions often miss the forest for the trees. Consider a new prius vs a sonic. Prius mpg is ~53 highway while sonic is 37. Over a 150,000 mile life of the car with gas at $3/gal, you're saving 1200 gallons or $3700. Gas costs are a small fraction of the total cost of ownership when ...
by Rotarman
Thu May 17, 2018 6:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: MoviePass-Too good to be true, but it's legit.
Replies: 240
Views: 31612

Re: MoviePass-Too good to be true, but it's legit.

My son has a MoviePass and loves it. It's also an easy decision for the theaters. It's like a casino comping a room. It's already built, so any further use is pure profit. And they make the real money on the concessions. The big chains are pushing back on MP for fear of the devaluation of the exper...
by Rotarman
Wed May 16, 2018 6:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ratio of car repair cost to car's value?
Replies: 17
Views: 1448

Re: Ratio of car repair cost to car's value?

Think about the cost to buy an equivalent car. If the car is worth 3k (repaired) and the repair is 1k, could you get a more reliable car for 2,000? I wouldn't hesitate to throw a thousand into a car we own worth ~2k because I'm very confident I couldn't get a comparably reliable car for 1k.
by Rotarman
Wed May 16, 2018 6:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can a <median household save 1 year of expenses every year?
Replies: 158
Views: 8093

Re: Can a <median household save 1 year of expenses every year?

My wife and I qualified very near to this for first 2 years out of college. She made 60k and I was in school. 6% to 401k and nearly 40% to student loans before taxes. We were well above 50% of after tax. Edit: didn't live with family (not that there's anything wrong with that but it would've made i...
by Rotarman
Wed May 16, 2018 6:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can a <median household save 1 year of expenses every year?
Replies: 158
Views: 8093

Re: Can a <median household save 1 year of expenses every year?

My wife and I qualified very near to this for first 2 years out of college. She made 60k and I was in school. 6% to 401k and nearly 40% to student loans before taxes. We were well above 50% of after tax. Edit: didn't live with family (not that there's anything wrong with that but it would've made i...
by Rotarman
Tue May 15, 2018 7:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Free skin cancer screenings
Replies: 26
Views: 2344

Re: Free skin cancer screenings

Keep in mind that many (most?) medical societies do not recommend routine skin cancer screening as their benefit:harm ratio has not been consistently proven favorable. Is this the ignorance is bliss approach? So people shouldn’t ask a professional to take a look. People actually die because they pu...
by Rotarman
Tue May 15, 2018 7:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can a <median household save 1 year of expenses every year?
Replies: 158
Views: 8093

Re: Can a <median household save 1 year of expenses every year?

My wife and I qualified very near to this for first 2 years out of college. She made 60k and I was in school. 6% to 401k and nearly 40% to student loans before taxes. We were well above 50% of after tax. Edit: didn't live with family (not that there's anything wrong with that but it would've made it...
by Rotarman
Tue May 15, 2018 7:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: DIY AC freon for car or professional fill up
Replies: 15
Views: 1614

Re: DIY AC freon for car or professional fill up

Had a small leak around compressor in a car that wasn't worth much and figured $20 per season was better than $200 or so to have it replaced as the car was 15 years old. I used half the can and it blew like ice that summer. 4 years later it still blows like ice and the half full can sits on a shelf ...
by Rotarman
Tue May 15, 2018 6:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Free skin cancer screenings
Replies: 26
Views: 2344

Re: Free skin cancer screenings

Keep in mind that many (most?) medical societies do not recommend routine skin cancer screening as their benefit:harm ratio has not been consistently proven favorable.
by Rotarman
Wed May 02, 2018 7:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Daughter starting college and I am retiring
Replies: 45
Views: 4555

Re: Daughter starting college and I am retiring

I would sell your house, buy a small house near daughters college for "residency", let daughter live in house her sophomore-senior years so you're not burning money, and buy house in/ move to Florida. How could they possibly find out that you're spending more time in Fl than Virginia?
by Rotarman
Fri Feb 16, 2018 2:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medical records - saved me money, time, trouble and XRay exposure :)
Replies: 12
Views: 1365

Re: Medical records - saved me money, time, trouble and XRay exposure :)

Fantastic advice. Additionally you can often receive a disc containing your CT scan if you ask shortly after getting the scan. Then they can download them into your medical record wherever you go. Another especially good record to keep somewhere is a chest xray if you ever get one - this one might s...
by Rotarman
Thu Nov 16, 2017 11:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why pay cash for a car?
Replies: 227
Views: 25626

Re: Why pay cash for a car?

I've made similar arguments before (often to deaf ears) about credit cards. Studies show that people spend less money when they use cash. Invariably people here will claim that their purchases are not influenced by cash or credit, and there's really no easy way to test them individually. It's kind o...
by Rotarman
Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Robot vacuum for pet hair and hardwood floor
Replies: 21
Views: 1741

Re: Robot vacuum for pet hair and hardwood floor

I have a Roomba (don't remember the model but it's not Wi-Fi capable). While I don't have a pet, I do have a spouse who sheds mass amounts of hair. On hardwood floors, hair has less tendency to get stuck in the rollers (carpet it does more often). However the roller is very easy to clean. I just rem...
by Rotarman
Wed Oct 25, 2017 6:37 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Payoff Student Loans or Save?
Replies: 13
Views: 1456

Re: Payoff Student Loans or Save?

I think the answer depends on how likely you are to be able to perform 1099 side work. If you can, you can generally increase your tax deferred contributions by opening a solo 401k and by having high employer contributions. Check out WCI post on the issue and you'll see you can easily get combined I...
by Rotarman
Wed Sep 13, 2017 5:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Another battery question
Replies: 25
Views: 2823

Re: Another battery question

I'm sure someone can do a better calculation, but my battery is ~ 500 CCA, 12v, and can crank for maybe 3 mins (?) straight before being dead I'd guess. That's 1000kJ. A 1.5w charger would produce (with losses) about 1 kJ a day, or 1/1000 of the batter's total storage. Given a battery charge doesn'...
by Rotarman
Tue Sep 12, 2017 1:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Another battery question
Replies: 25
Views: 2823

Re: Another battery question

I'm sure someone can do a better calculation, but my battery is ~ 500 CCA, 12v, and can crank for maybe 3 mins (?) straight before being dead I'd guess. That's 1000kJ. A 1.5w charger would produce (with losses) about 1 kJ a day, or 1/1000 of the batter's total storage. Given a battery charge doesn't...
by Rotarman
Sun Apr 16, 2017 7:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone else decided not to finish med school?
Replies: 55
Views: 11474

Re: Anyone else decided not to finish med school?

I don't think he's a failure, I applaud him. I think many, many more medical students/residents would do exactly what he did if they had the courage. Many med students (and residents and physicians) are so type A they can't admit to themselves they've made the wrong decision, so they revert to react...
by Rotarman
Fri Apr 07, 2017 2:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Some Credit Cards Make You Spend More?
Replies: 69
Views: 5374

Re: Some Credit Cards Make You Spend More?

I'm almost positive that using any credit card, especially a points card, increases spending. To wit, we try to use credit cards only for non-negotiable expenses. Student loans, insurance bills, groceries (since I don't really care how much is spent as long as it's healthy and food isn't being waste...
by Rotarman
Thu Apr 06, 2017 5:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with college choice
Replies: 125
Views: 7965

Re: Help with college choice

You said your son was interested in CS and I would venture pedigree can only help you in that field , but one thing to keep in mind (given how often people change their major) is that it can be more difficult from an MIT/Cornell to get into professional school than from a less elite school . It's e...
by Rotarman
Wed Apr 05, 2017 8:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with college choice
Replies: 125
Views: 7965

Re: Help with college choice

You said your son was interested in CS and I would venture pedigree can only help you in that field , but one thing to keep in mind (given how often people change their major) is that it can be more difficult from an MIT/Cornell to get into professional school than from a less elite school. It's eas...
by Rotarman
Sun Apr 02, 2017 7:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying Sunglasses
Replies: 44
Views: 6367

Re: Buying Sunglasses

I always buy sunglasses from Ebay Never paid more than $2.00 and they are always polarized There were instances when the sunglasses I received was not polarized but ebay refunded me right away Can someone please convince me that there is a difference between $100 polarized sunglass and a $2.00 pola...
by Rotarman
Wed Mar 29, 2017 3:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What's your personal criteria for deciding whether or not to rent a car?
Replies: 105
Views: 6702

Re: What's your personal criteria for deciding whether or not to rent a car?

I didn't read through all, but I think I'll be one of the few people who has actually done this (once) before. About 800 miles roundtrip 3 days just like you. The rental got better gas mileage, and the total cost difference I estimated at ~ 20 bucks or so (altho I did my own maintenance so maybe som...
by Rotarman
Thu Mar 09, 2017 1:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: At what $ level should someone really start diversifiying?
Replies: 25
Views: 2765

Re: At what $ level should someone really start diversifiying?

We're very early in our career, so we are 100% equities and plan to stay that way until at least ~200k. Part of the reason is that equity in our primary residence is currently equal to about half our retirement accounts, so our asset allocation is less aggressive than it would appear.
by Rotarman
Tue Feb 28, 2017 8:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2016 Tax Refund...Wife asked, "Is it legal?!?!"
Replies: 17
Views: 4074

Re: 2016 Tax Refund...Wife asked, "Is it legal?!?!"

After e-filing , I told my wife our expected refund and she asked "Is it legal?!?!" A joint tax return was submitted and you didn't let your wife see the return before filing? What if she had questions or noticed something you didn't? Since she is also liable for the accuracy of the return, please ...
by Rotarman
Thu Feb 09, 2017 8:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rule of Thumb for Getting Rid of Car
Replies: 51
Views: 7302

Re: Rule of Thumb for Getting Rid of Car

Just as a counterpoint to those saying those model minis are not very reliable and it is near major repair anyways... We have a 2006 mini bought at 50,000 which is now at 110,000 with a whopping $75 in repairs. Nothing else besides gas, oil, and tires (and some stripes because SO thought the bonnet ...
by Rotarman
Tue Feb 07, 2017 3:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Walmart.com vs. Amazon.com
Replies: 41
Views: 6008

Re: Walmart.com vs. Amazon.com

I used Amazon prime for a few years, but I found that I wasn't using it enough to justify the annual membership, and it seemed I ended up at walmart anyways since I can't have produce and cold items shipped through amazon. Then I found out about Walmart Pickup. It is great! The website interface is ...
by Rotarman
Fri Nov 11, 2016 5:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to retire early (in your 30s or 40s)?
Replies: 173
Views: 27817

Re: How to retire early (in your 30s or 40s)?

Go to school for 4 years to be a nurse at a state school. 25,000 debt at 22. Start working making 60,000 or 80,000 if you hustle. Live in the midwest where you can have a nice house big enough for kids at 1,000 a month. Save 20,000 a year (easy to do even on 60,000 salary in even a larger city in t...
by Rotarman
Fri Nov 11, 2016 11:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to retire early (in your 30s or 40s)?
Replies: 173
Views: 27817

Re: How to retire early (in your 30s or 40s)?

When I first read MMM I thought wow that sounds great. However I quickly realized that I don't buy big new cars and eat out all the time, I'm not an engineer with a high income and don't have a wife who is also an engineer with a high income who also has the same frugal aspirations. I have kids. I ...
by Rotarman
Fri Nov 04, 2016 10:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to retire early (in your 30s or 40s)?
Replies: 173
Views: 27817

Re: How to retire early (in your 30s, 40s, 50s)?

Most of the youngish people with fairly high incomes buy more house than they need despite not planning on having kids there. I think its disingenuous to imply that when a couple making 200,000 buys a 4 bedroom house, all the cost above that of a 1bdrm apartment is due to kids. A better way would b...
by Rotarman
Fri Nov 04, 2016 6:44 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Individual stocks that are sound w/ indexing
Replies: 84
Views: 7858

Re: Individual stocks that are sound w/ indexing

Okay, this is a great site for sharing ideas and opinions about retirement planning, but I don't understand the apprehension towards owning individual equities that are universally known to be run by great, honest management! Does anyone on this forum think Warren Buffett, Sergio Brin, Larry Paige,...
by Rotarman
Thu Nov 03, 2016 1:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to retire early (in your 30s or 40s)?
Replies: 173
Views: 27817

Re: How to retire early (in your 30s, 40s, 50s)?

The only solution I see is to have a savings rate that is gigantic. Or, to have a high income. And still live well below your means with a relatively gigantic savings rate. Many of us likely know people who make a good bit more than us, but manage to save far less. They have little chance of retiri...
by Rotarman
Thu Nov 03, 2016 12:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bad deal [Rent vs. buy for co-op]
Replies: 38
Views: 4129

Re: Bad deal

Buying 670,000-600,000=70,000 3,000/month * 12 * 8 yrs = 288,000 Total cost 218,000 Renting 2450*12*8= 235,200 So you came out ahead (not incuding time value of the 150k) despite buying at the top of the market and estimating a gigantic amount of selling costs. Are you warning people? This really do...
by Rotarman
Wed Nov 02, 2016 3:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Gain on sale of home
Replies: 13
Views: 1198

Re: Gain on sale of home

Could you negotiate to have buyer pay fees on your side in exchange for a lower selling price? For instance, could the price be knocked down 6% then seller pays realtor fees out of pocket? Or would this still be taxable? It wouldn't remove all your taxes, but $1,000,000 house x 6% x 15% LTCG = 9,000...
by Rotarman
Tue Nov 01, 2016 3:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 54K left in Federal Student Loans.....wanting to buy/build a home.
Replies: 19
Views: 2292

Re: 54K left in Federal Student Loans.....wanting to buy/build a home.

I think you know the "Bogleheads" answer is pay down that 6% loan at least. Try not to romanticize buying a house together too much - you can still pretty much all the same things in a rental. It could even be a great opportunity to rent around and see what houses/areas(/distance from family) you li...
by Rotarman
Mon Oct 31, 2016 1:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Stundent loan transfer in 2012 hurting my credit and costing me thousands..
Replies: 23
Views: 2805

Re: Stundent loan transfer in 2012 hurting my credit and costing me thousands..

My SO had to ask to have things removed from her credit report (though it was a late credit card not student loan) before buying a house. She simply called the company itself first. They were very nice and she just had to fill out a form saying what happened and voila! 2 months later it was gone. I...
by Rotarman
Thu Oct 27, 2016 7:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Stundent loan transfer in 2012 hurting my credit and costing me thousands..
Replies: 23
Views: 2805

Re: Stundent loan transfer in 2012 hurting my credit and costing me thousands..

My SO had to ask to have things removed from her credit report (though it was a late credit card not student loan) before buying a house. She simply called the company itself first. They were very nice and she just had to fill out a form saying what happened and voila! 2 months later it was gone. I...
by Rotarman
Thu Oct 27, 2016 2:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Stundent loan transfer in 2012 hurting my credit and costing me thousands..
Replies: 23
Views: 2805

Re: Stundent loan transfer in 2012 hurting my credit and costing me thousands..

My SO had to ask to have things removed from her credit report (though it was a late credit card not student loan) before buying a house. She simply called the company itself first. They were very nice and she just had to fill out a form saying what happened and voila! 2 months later it was gone. I ...
by Rotarman
Wed Oct 26, 2016 7:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to Avoid Paying Taxes if You're UHNW [Ultra High Net Worth]
Replies: 72
Views: 13399

Re: How to Avoid Paying Taxes if You're UHNW

So I tried looking this up, and it's all pretty confusing. I think you're right about an immediate step up of the estate upon death for everything less than $5 million. Above that there's all kinds of rules which seem to imply no step up. I think you might be confusing income tax with estate tax - ...
by Rotarman
Tue Oct 25, 2016 6:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to Avoid Paying Taxes if You're UHNW [Ultra High Net Worth]
Replies: 72
Views: 13399

Re: How to Avoid Paying Taxes if You're UHNW

Can someone explain how/whether this plan has any value outside the arbitrage of the interest on the loan vs the appreciation of the investments? If an UHNW takes loans and owed 20M at death and has a 40M portfolio is the estate not simply taxed on 20M of the assets it liquidates? I'm pretty sure t...
by Rotarman
Tue Oct 25, 2016 6:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annual tax maneuvers list
Replies: 14
Views: 1862

Re: Annual tax maneuvers list

Since I joined the forum in 2014, I have done these things every year to minimize taxes / expand tax advantaged space : 1) contribute $5,500 to backdoor Roth 2) buy $10,000 of ibonds 3) tax loss harvest at least $3000 This year I will be adding a 4th: 4) prepay or delay real estate taxes to bunch u...
by Rotarman
Tue Oct 25, 2016 4:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to Avoid Paying Taxes if You're UHNW [Ultra High Net Worth]
Replies: 72
Views: 13399

Re: How to Avoid Paying Taxes if You're UHNW

Can someone explain how/whether this plan has any value outside the arbitrage of the interest on the loan vs the appreciation of the investments? If an UHNW takes loans and owed 20M at death and has a 40M portfolio is the estate not simply taxed on 20M of the assets it liquidates? The following is h...
by Rotarman
Fri Oct 21, 2016 7:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to Avoid Paying Taxes if You're UHNW [Ultra High Net Worth]
Replies: 72
Views: 13399

Re: How to Avoid Paying Taxes if You're UHNW

I don't understand. Wouldn't the assets have to be liquidated (and taxed) upon death? I can't imagine how an heir could be liable for the deceased's debts. If the heir isn't liable, it doesn't make sense for the bank to let the assets pass to the heir, wait for the stepup, then hope the heir pays up.
by Rotarman
Fri Oct 21, 2016 1:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to transfer huge amount of data (>500 GB) to someone through the internet?
Replies: 88
Views: 7577

Re: How to transfer huge amount of data (>500 GB) to someone through the internet?

The other thing no one has mentioned is recompressing the video. M-JPEG is a very old-school, inefficient codec, and that data rate is silly for old home movies. That's 2-3x the data rate on straight-from-the-disk 1080p blu-ray video, and 2.5x some compressed (h.264) 4K video that I checked. I use ...
by Rotarman
Thu Oct 20, 2016 1:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sibling's destination wedding?
Replies: 137
Views: 15308

Re: Sibling's destination wedding?

For those who have had destination weddings, or whose family has, how was the offer to help defray costs done? Just going privately to the ones that you think the cost may cause a hardship, or did you wait to offer to someone who said they couldnt go because of finances? The former seems better, but...
by Rotarman
Thu Oct 20, 2016 10:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase Sapphire Reserve
Replies: 216
Views: 35663

Re: Chase Sapphire Reserve

I can attest the $300 credit per calendar year is currently working; however when I spoke with a rep recently, they said I wouldnt receive the credit until December of the year it was used (presumably to stop people from cancelling and taking $600 in a year). It's possible she didn't know what she ...
by Rotarman
Wed Oct 19, 2016 7:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase Sapphire Reserve
Replies: 216
Views: 35663

Re: Chase Sapphire Reserve

I can attest the $300 credit per calendar year is currently working; however when I spoke with a rep recently, they said I wouldnt receive the credit until December of the year it was used (presumably to stop people from cancelling and taking $600 in a year). It's possible she didn't know what she w...
by Rotarman
Sun Oct 02, 2016 8:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Bogleheads' "100 Things Worth Every Penny" List
Replies: 275
Views: 45030

Re: The Bogleheads' "100 Things Worth Every Penny" List

My 2005 Mazda RX-8...the only car I've ever bought new and I still love driving it...and every once in awhile somebody asks if I'd like to sell it...I'm gonna drive it into the ground! This is the best car I've ever owned. After I wrecked it, I got something with about twice the horsepower and pric...
by Rotarman
Wed Sep 28, 2016 4:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sorry, but tell [me] what to do with my mortgage
Replies: 62
Views: 6187

Re: Sorry, but tell what to do with my mortgage

I think of prepaying my mortgage like a 3.5% treasury bond that you can sell (via home equity loan) anytime, but I plan to buy and hold :wink:
by Rotarman
Fri Jul 29, 2016 6:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Interview in Silicon Valley - Suit?
Replies: 95
Views: 9955

Re: Interview in Silicon Valley - Suit?

Maybe it's just a Midwest thing, but I'd feel like I dodged a bullet if a company didn't hire me because I wore a suit or because I wore business casual and should've worn a suit. A guy I have dealings with wears a bowtie and vest everyday, and he functions about the same as another person in his po...
by Rotarman
Tue Jul 19, 2016 10:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement for Women(?)
Replies: 34
Views: 4134

Re: Retirement for Women(?)

10x income for life insurance. For retirement, it's 20-25x expenses less known and expected future annual income (social security/pensions). If one's social security replacement income represents 20% of final income and one is currently living off of 75-80% of income, then income to be replaced fro...